The Odisha government will soon move the Supreme Court, challenging a recent order of the Appellate Tribunal on Electricity (ATE) that has triggered panic among burdening consumers in the state, following a steep power tariff hike.
"We are waiting for the government's approval to move the apex court on the ATE's order. We will seek a stay on the order passed by the tribunal", said Suresh C Mohapatra, principal secretary (energy), Odisha.
The tribunal recently passed the order on the appeal filed by the Reliance Infrastructure managed distribution companies (discoms) -North Eastern Electricity Supply Company of Odisha Ltd (Nesco), Western Electricity Supply Company of Odisha Ltd (Wesco) and Southern Electricity Supply Company of Odisha Ltd (Southco). These discoms pointed out that the state power regulator Odisha Electricity Regulatory Commission (OERC) had not been complying with the ATE's orders on their appeals. The discoms had challenged the order of the state commission for determination of the Annual Revenue Requirement (ARR) of discoms on unrealistic loss levels while determining tariff.
The state commission has been refusing to implement the ATE's directives from 2006-07 to 2014-15, on the pretext that appeals have been filed against the ATE's orders in the Supreme Court. But the apex court refused to grant any stay on the ATE order.
"We have been watching for several years, the unfair conduct of this commission (OERC) through its various orders which are bent upon violating all our directions given in our every judgment", the ATE said in its latest order on November 30 last year.
In its earlier four orders, the tribunal had categorically directed OERC for setting distribution loss targets based on the ground realities, actual loss revel and realistic loss reduction targets.
The ATE has passed the latest order, setting aside different tariff orders of OERC since 2006-07. Implementation of the tribunal's order may lead to an unpalatable situation requiring consumers to pay through the nose for electricity consumption for the past years as per the revised tariff.
The OERC is understood to have filed an appeal in the apex court against the ATE's order.
It may be noted that for 2014-15, the OERC had spared consumers from any hike in electricity tariff after raising it for four successive years since 2010-11.
Despite the distribution companies (discoms) projecting a distribution loss of 32.4 per cent, the commission considered an average distribution loss of 21.38 per cent for determination of retail supply tariff for consumers for 2014-15.
Source- Business standard